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Poker News | Casino Poker | News

World Poker - Austria

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Thinking of the beauty of Austria may conjure up images of the majestic Alps. Or maybe you envision Alpine hats with feathers, yodelers and big steins of beer. But Austria is much more than the birthplace of Pez candy, Danish pastry and the Wiener Schnitzel.

Austria is an old country full of culture and tradition dating back to about 1050BC. Over the course of its long history, Austrians have enriched the world with many wonderful things, including classical music. Famous Austrian composers include: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauss, and Sr. Gustav Mahler and Ludwig van Beethoven.

During the early years of moviemaking, Austria was the world’s main producer of silent movies. Since then Austria has given us stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hedy Lamar, Maximilian Schell and Erich von Stroheim.

Austria is comprised of not only the beautiful Alps but nine states, which are: Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Auatria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Voralberg and the capitol, Vienna. The biggest area in Austria is, of course, the Austrian Alps, which encompasses 62% of Austria's total area. Only about one quarter of Austria's 32,000 sq. miles is considered low lying, with less than 32% of the entire country below the altitude of 1,640 feet. These statistics show why Austria’s number one sport is Alpine Skiing.

In 1955 Austria’s Federal Assembly passed a law that made it a sovereign and independent state. This law also declared "Austria declares of her own free will her perpetual neutrality." The second part of the law stated that "in all future times Austria will not join any military alliances and will not permit the establishment of any foreign military bases on her territory." Since then, Austria has based its foreign policy on the stance of neutrality.

Austria is not only rich in culture and history, but is rated as one of the 10 richest countries in the world. This is why Austria is well known for its estimated 8 million residents enjoying a very high standard of living. One quarter of these residents reside in Vienna, the cultural center of the country.

Because Austria is neutral, and offers its citizens a high standard of living, may have an impact on why casino’s and poker are so popular there. Austria has no less than nine casinos offering poker rooms. These poker rooms are: Casino Royal in Innsbruck; Casinos Austria in Salzburg; Casinos Austria Baden; Concard Card Casino Linz; Casino Bregenz, Bregenz; Concord Card Casino and Poker World in Vienna; Concord Card Casino in Lutz and Stadtcasino Kufstein in Kufstein.

The Casino Baden bills itself as Austria’s biggest casino and hosted the Baden Poker Festival this year, where over 700 players competed for € 2.9 million in prize money. In October the biggest Poker event of the year was held at Casino Baden with The European Poker Tour (EPT), the Baden Open and the European Poker Championship. The poker room lists poker games of Texas Hold'em, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, Easy Poker, Tropical Stud Poker and Easy Hold’em.

With all these venues for poker players in Austria, the world will be hearing about more poker pros hailing from there. Currently the most famous Austrian poker player may be Ivo “The Chess Master” Donev. As Ivo’s nickname implies, he started as a chess master, then read poker books and used poker software to learn the game. In April of 1999, Ivo won the Vienna Mini WSOP Limit Hold’em event, and placed 3rd in the Stud event. Since then he has placed in no less than 77 tournaments, including winning the 2000 WSOP Limit Omaha event. For that win, he took home $85,800 and the coveted gold bracelet. Ivo’s tournament winnings so far are more than $600,000, which shows chess player to poker player is a great conversion rate. Ivo is also a member of the Hendon Mob on Full Tilt Poker and can be found playing there when not on the road to another major event.

Online poker sites like PokerStars, offer tournaments restricted to players who speak German. Since 90% of Austrians speak German, they certainly do qualify for these events.

In March of this year, Everest Poker sent players to the Austrian Open, which is scheduled to be a yearly event, held at Casino Bregenz in Bregentz. Players qualified through Everest Poker’s satellite tournaments,

Be sure to check out PokerWorks Freeroll Page for more featured online poker tournaments and events to send you to Austria. Next year you could be skiing the Alps and testing your skills at the poker table too!

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